THE National’s rally for independence in George Square in Glasgow on Saturday has been handed a major boost with the news that Mhairi Black has confirmed she will attend and speak.

With First Minister Nicola Sturgeon set to give a speech at an independence rally for the first time in five years, the news that the SNP MP for Paisley and Renfrewshire South will also be on the platform means our rally will feature two of the strongest female voices for independence that Scotland has ever had.

More speakers from the wider Yes movement will join Paul Kavanagh of Wee Ginger Dug fame and comedienne, playwright and author Janey Godley in a line-up which we can confirm will be augmented later this week.

The rally will start at 1.30pm in George Square and we expect it to last up to two hours. The weather forecast is dreich – not the official word – but hey, this is Scotland and what’s a few drops of vertical water when we have a precious cause to win.

Though mindful that in the chaos that is Brexit Britain, things can change on a daily basis, we can say that the principal aim of the rally is to focus the Yes movement – and their opponents – on the need for a second independence referendum which must come next year.

Click here for the Facebook event linked to our rally

Mhairi Black said: “At this weekend’s rally we will send a message to the Westminster establishment that Scotland is having absolutely none of it. Since 2016, SNP MP’s have continuously urged the UK Government to take into consideration the impact that this Brexit fiasco will have on all of our constituents.

“At every turn Westminster has chosen to reject us, ignore us and disrespect us.

“The sheer incompetence shown by the UK Government and the official opposition over Brexit has failed the people of Scotland.

“We don’t want Brexit, it should be for the people of Scotland to decide what our place in Europe is, as an independent country.

“How a supporter of the Union can look at what has happened in UK politics since 2014 and say, honestly, that we couldn’t at least give it a better go than the way we are being governed in London right now is completely beyond me.

“The UK Government’s position on independence is unworkable and disrespectful to the people of Scotland who are being dragged through this Brexit chaos while being hammered by a decade of Tory austerity.”

READ MORE: Richard Walker: Join The National's rally to help demand #indyref2020 right

Sunday National editor Richard Walker who is organising the event said: “We are absolutely delighted to confirm that Mhairi Black has joined our list of speakers for our rally on Saturday.

“With the First Minister, Paul Kavanagh and Janey Godley also confirmed to appear on the stage in George Square, we are confident that the rally will hear powerful speeches as we look forward to a second independence referendum that will finally free Scotland from Brexit-broken Britain.

“Mhairi seems to have been around for so long that she is a familiar face to all Scots, yet she is only 25 and was elected to the UK Parliament just four years ago.

“Since then we have watched her develop into a formidable orator and heard her devastating indictments of the class-ridden political system in Westminster, and her trenchant and uniquely powerful criticisms of the Tories’ austerity policies and their effects on people.

“Her columns in The National, like her speeches, are witty, cogent and focused, and she really has become one of the leading political speakers in Scotland, not least in association with Ian Blackford on their tour of the country which has seen them address sold-out audiences.

“We suspect this Saturday may be her biggest audience yet and we know she will make powerful statements from the stage in George Square and that her words will reverberate around the Yes movement and beyond.

“Things are moving along nicely as we approach Saturday, and I hope to be in a position to announce further speakers over the next 48 to 72 hours.”

The National will provide the full line-up of speakers and entertainers before Saturday, and we urge all readers to watch out for more details.